No Time Like the Present

Turn to clear vision

I have joked for years that I hope Jesus returns before my girls are teenagers (with 3 of them can you blame me?) But in all seriousness, the Bible is very clear about what the condition of our world will be in the last days and it seems as if the scriptures were written from today’s headlines. Lately my heart has been crying, “Come Lord Jesus!”

There seems to be no end to the madness. And so I continue to say I hope he returns before I have 3 teenagers – not so much for my comfort, but for my children and theirs someday. I can’t even imagine the world they will inherit if things continue the way they have been of late. I have been increasingly alarmed by the news I hear coming out of the Middle East and the suffering of those who believe in Christ in nations where that is forbidden. I often feel so helpless as I hear of the atrocities happening in the world around me. Someday Jesus certainly will come and he will make all things right. But until that time, he looks for those willing to be used by him – those who choose to clothe themselves in him and be his hands and feet in a world gone mad. Ultimately that means if something is going to get done for the good of mankind in our world right now, he needs us to be willing to go do it!

In Bible Quizzing, we are studying the book of Exodus. Our lesson this week and last was on the call of Moses. Moses was the single greatest man in Israelite history. God chose him to rescue his people from the oppression of Egypt and to lead them into the land he had promised to give them hundreds of years before. But Moses felt inadequate. He gave God 101 excuses why he wasn’t the man for the job. But God knew what he was doing (as He always does). He equipped Moses and told him exactly what to do and how to do it. He had a big plan for his people and he was ready to bring it to fruition! All he needed to accomplish it was one willing man. I wonder what God wants to do today? I would guess that:

  1. He longs to ease the suffering of those who are victims of evil
  2. He longs for those who have never heard of his love for them to know and understand
  3. He longs to have relationship restored between himself and his beloved creation and
  4. He longs for his church to get serious about being a part of his plan on the earth – to be    his hands and feet

Unfortunately, it seems many of us in the church today – especially in the U.S. – tend to prefer comfort to the truth of the gospel. If you read the Bible you find that life was extremely tough for those who followed the heart of Jesus. But those who did were called “blessed”. Jesus had little patience for those who knew the words of God, followed all of the rules, but missed the big picture. I don’t know if this convicts anyone else but me….

The Bible is full of stories of men and women who were so wonderfully ordinary and yet they accomplished so much when they trusted God for the outcome. A weary world is in need of REAL Christianity. Not a watered – down version. If we truly give God our hearts, minds, and bodies, then he can do so much more in this hurting old world than we see happening now. The problem is, it may cost us our hearts, our minds or our bodies, and so many of us hang back and wait for someone else to do something. Have you ever heard Matthew West’s song “Do Something”?   It is about that very thing: realizing that God created us to get involved in bringing His love to the world around us. God longs to heal the hurts of this broken world, but he moves through us. If his hands and feet refuse to move, then he doesn’t go anywhere or do anything. If we were all willing to lay down our lives for the sake of what is right, what is honorable, what is good and just, to comfort those in need and to show love to the unlovely, what a different world we would live in! While we cannot all give the same amounts of money, time, or energy, we can all do something – no matter how small. And it’s all of the small acts combined that end up making a big difference.

You may be wondering what is it you can do? Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

**You know that federal issue you are upset about? Call your senator and share your concerns.

**You know that local issue that’s not quite right?   Attend a meeting and give your input.

**You know how heavy a burden you are carrying for something only God can do? Start a prayer group with others who are like-minded and see what God will do with the faith and prayers of those who gather in His name to pray!

**You know all of that stuff you have stored away that you won’t ever use again, but if you think about it, you know someone who can use it? Give it away!

**You know those kids who don’t have a good role model? Or that couple with a struggling marriage? Or that single parent who’s barely making it?   Be a mentor.

Bottom line: DO SOMETHING!

Let’s be people not just of faith, but of action, people who give out of the overflow of God’s love in us. Jesus said people would know we belong to him by our love. Can people accuse you of belonging to Jesus? Do you love like he did? Do you show mercy? Do you meet the needs of others? Do you have compassion for the “least of these”? I know I have a lot of work to do in this area myself – I write this out of the churning I feel in my own heart. But I want to live “not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15).

That verse could’ve been written today! It is my prayer and I hope that it’s yours too. A hurting world needs us. Opportunities abound! I love this line from Jason Gray’s song With Every Act of Love: “God put a million, million doors in the world for his love to walk through, one of those doors is you”. It’s time to be part of what he longs to accomplish. Who’s with me?

~Tara Hensel